With Tom Brady‘s 4 game suspension currently still a thing, all of New England Patriot nation has their eyes on backup Quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft, took a few snaps last season, and even threw a couple of nice throws in the process : Jimmy Garoppolo‘s first TD but nothing major of course, because, well the Patriots still did have Tom Brady. But again, with Brady most likely going to miss the first four games this season, Garoppolo’s set to be his temporary replacement, and it seems to me that that’s the number two question around New England right now. Of course number one being : How many games will Brady miss? Question number two to me is : Could Jimmy Garoppolo get it done for the Pats? Theoretically, this is what happens. Garoppolo starts Weeks 1,2,3 (BYE week 4), and 5. Whether Garoppolo stinks it up for the Pats, and they go 1-3 in the first four games, or whether he leads the NFL in passing yards, and the Pats are 4-0 in those first four games, Brady’ll most likely start in week 6. But back to right now, Garropolo has a somewhat tough schedule, and here’s how I ultimatley think he’ll handle it.
Week 1 – vs Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are in town for the Patriots championship welcome home party, and if Garoppolo’s starting, it should become even more interesting. Mike Tomlin and the Steelers have seen Tom Brady play before, but they’ve never really seen Jimmy G too much. There’s still a lot of time from now until the first game, and if Bill Belichick can get everything together, I think the Patriots can play pretty well. Plus, the Patriots are at home for Week 1, which is always good for their case. I’d expect a low scoring game from both sides, but I’d expect a very exciting finish as well. Predicted score : 27-24 New England wins (1-0)
Week 2 – at Buffalo Bills
Ah, it’s always fun when Bill Belichick and Rex Ryan square off against each other. This time Rex coaching for a different AFC East team, the Buffalo Bills. The Bills usually play pretty well in the beginning of every season, and I think their defense would genuinley be too much for Garoppolo to handle. To make it short and simple, the Bills would be too much for the young Quarterback. Predicted score : 31-20 Buffalo wins (1-1)
Week 3 – vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Following their loss to the Bills, I’d assume the team would be hungry for another win, and the Jacksonville Jaguars would be a great opponent to get it from. In this game, I could see Garoppolo throwing multiple touchdowns, and can really see the offense clicking. The defense should perform great as well. Again, it’s not a tough team, and the fact that they’re back in Foxboro is another advantage for the Patriots. Predicted Score : 38-17 New England wins (2-1)
Week 4 – BYE WEEK
Week 5 – at Dallas Cowboys
Probably the toughest opponent the Patriots have to face during their time without their star QB. The Dallas Cowboys had a great season last year, and they should be on the same track to do so this year again as well. Not only that, but, they’re the home team in this affair, and they genuinley play pretty well at home. However, since becoming head coach of the Patriots in 2000, Bill Belichick has a record of 11-4 in ‘games after the bye week’. A pretty impressive record. Originally I expected this game to be a QB duel, with both offenses going back and fourth. Tony Romo should find Dez Bryant in the end zone, and Garoppolo should find Rob Gronkowski a few times as well, but I expect this game to be more about defense than anything else. Both teams should fight to the end in what I think will be a very close, and exciting game, that will ultimately end in a closing seconds field goal. Predicted Score : 26-23 Dallas wins (2-2)
Predicted record : 2-2
So there you go. My predictions for Jimmy Garoppolo and the New England Patriots and their first four games this season. I think Garoppolo can play good, but not great, and even though the Patriots still have a great team around them, they lost huge defensive players from last season like Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, and Vince Wilfork, which makes them a little bit worse coming into this season. And even though they have the greatest head coach in the NFL right now, they’re still missing their best player in Tom Brady. This team goes where Brady goes, and if Brady’s not playing, they’re probably not going to go very far. But hey, ‘in Belichick we trust’ right?
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